West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms. However, some infections can result in serious illness or death.
People over 50 years of age and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they become infected with the virus.
Your best defense is to practice these four habits:
- Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow the instructions on the label.
- Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
- Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
To learn more about West Nile virus, see the following Fact Sheet.
West Nile Statistics: